STUDENT RESEARCH
PhD IN LEADERSHIP STUDIES

Evangelina T. Villagomez, PhD, APRN, CCRN, CDE, CS

Dr. Villagomez is an alumnus of the seventh Central Texas Doctoral Cohort.

An employee at the
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Dr. Villagomez obtained a research subcontract with the Methodist Hospital System, Diabetes Research Institute. The Diabetes Research Center at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute is focused on basic and clinical research in inflammation and nuclear receptors as they relate to obesity and metabolism. Dr. Villagomez is involved in two studies.

Study 1

A Weight Loss Program and Genome study for Young Mexican American Women (MA): Improving self-Efficacy and Sustaining Results: A participatory action research (PAR) approach combined with survey research will identify ecologic barriers to better health, weight management in Mexican American women (18-35 years of age); improve recruitment/retention of vulnerable population; and enhance long term sustainability of the program. This is a randomized control genome study and will combine a “jump start” intervention strategy with an intense lifestyle strategy grounded within an ecologic model.

Study 2
Overcoming health and healthcare disparities in Denver Harbor: Develop a culturally appropriate program for overcoming disparities in health/healthcare delivery in the prevention/management of obesity and type 2 diabetes in Denver Harbor. This research is supported by The Houston Endowment and Cullen Trust. NIH and other funding is currently being sought to support research at both venues.

Dr. Villagomez has also been selected to present at the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists on March 7, 2009, in St. Louis, with various colleagues throughout the state of Texas. The event is titled “Technology: A Catalyst for Teaching Clinical Nurse Specialist Competencies.”


The following students in the Leadership Studies doctoral program successfully defended their dissertations and were recognized during commencement ceremonies Dec. 13, 2008:

Rosamaria Murillo, Ph.D.

For her dissertation, Dr. Murillo examined the relationship between follower’s perceptions of their leader’s leadership style and follower’s job satisfaction. Dr. Murillo’s study focused on community health workers (CHWs) along the US-Mexican border. Leadership style was measured using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ 5X) and job satisfaction was measured using the Job Descriptor Index. Using multiple regression analysis, and after controlling for several demographic variables, Dr. Murillo found that transformational leadership was the strongest predictor of several aspects of follower satisfaction.

Dr. Murillo was assisted in her dissertation by Drs. Meghan Carmody-Bubb and Mark Green as co-chairs, Dr. Malcolm Ree as committee member, and Dr. Karen Blaesing as graduate faculty representative.

At her defense, Dr. Murillo indicated her gratitude to Our Lady of the Lake University for providing opportunities for education and giving a voice to non-traditional students. She made the following statement for the Leadership Studies biweekly newsletter, “As I come to the end of this endeavor, I feel joy, gratitude, and privilege. I thank God for I have been so blessed.”

Cecilio Chavez, Ph.D.

For his dissertation, Dr. Chavez conducted an experimental design in which participants were asked to rate the qualifications of a fictitious applicant for a school superintendent position. The application materials manipulated the gender of the applicant, as well as whether the applicant required the use of a wheelchair. Dr. Chavez developed the questionnaires through the use of subject matter experts, followed by factor analysis. Results indicated that, when asked to rate the applicant’s leadership ability, the disabled male applicant was seen as significantly more motivating and inspiring than the non-disabled male; the non-disabled female received significantly higher ratings for aligning people than the disabled female, and the non-disabled female received significantly higher ratings for establishing direction than the disabled female.

Dr. Chavez was supported in his work by Drs. Mark Green and Malcolm Ree as co-chairs, Dr. Diana Garza-Ortiz as committee member, and Dr. Karen Blaesing as graduate faculty representative.

Dr. Chavez made the following statement for the Leadership Studies biweekly newsletter, “My journey through the PhD Leadership Studies program has been a most humbling experience. My intellectual curiosity was greatly developed, as was my reflection and spirituality. The challenges have been rewarding, yet not without their trials. This program has prepared me in immeasurable ways. Thanks to all the leadership studies professors. I will forever be indebted to you collectively and individually.”


Norma Greenfield, Ph.D.

For her dissertation, Dr. Greenfield examined whether women lead differently if they are leading a workforce composed predominantly of men versus women. While she found that women who lead workforces comprised predominantly of women were more transformational than women who lead workforces composed predominantly of men, the surprising result was his finding also applied to men. Men who lead workforces comprised predominantly of women were also more transformational than men who lead workforces comprised predominantly of men. This lead to the conclusion that leaders in general may lead more transformationally when leading women and more transactionally leading men, regardless of the sex of the leader.

Dr. Greenfield was supported in her dissertation by Dr. Mark Green as chair, Dr.’s Malcolm Ree and Diana Garza-Ortiz as committee members.

Dr. Greenfield made the following statement for the Leadership Studies biweekly newsletter, “This amazing and life-altering journey has been an incredible experience. I thank my God for his graciousness for he is…’the strength of my life’ Psalm 27:1. As I faced my challenges, I am blessed to have a supportive and loving husband who many nights offered comforting words of reassurance. I am also grateful for my chair (Dr. Green) who never gave up on me. The words determination and persistence have echoed through these last semesters.”


Lisa Reynolds, Ph.D.

For her dissertation, Dr. Reynolds analyzed the relationship between leadership styles of leaders at Christus Santa Rosa facilities in Texas, Louisiana and Utah and their followers’ level of engagement using the Press-Gainey Engagement Index. An exploratory factor analysis at the item level for the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) and Press-Gainey Index found that the engagement index loaded on a completely different component than items from the MLQ. A multiple regression to predict the level of engagement of the workers, controlling for a range of demographic variables, found that transformational leadership was a strong predictor of engagement in the follower (R2 = .61, p = .00), (beta = 16.52, rp = .56, p = .00).

Dr. Reynolds was supported in her dissertation by Dr. Mark Green as chair, Dr.’s Malcolm Ree and Phyllis Duncan as committee members, and Dr. Howard Benoist as graduate faculty representative.

Dr. Reynolds made the following statement for the Leadership Studies biweekly newsletter, “My father taught me the value of integrity at a very early age. He emphasized the importance of always being true to your word. When I declared I would obtain a Ph.D., I knew I had to finish the journey no matter how difficult the obstacles or how weary I became. Several people in my life helped me achieve this important goal. Without their personal sacrifice, inspiration, and assistance, I would not have been able to travel this four-year passage. My undying appreciation is extended to my committee chair, Dr. Mark Green. His wisdom and desire to push us all to excel is a gift. All the faculty at Our Lady of the Lake are also appreciated. The members of Cohort 10 have become lifelong friends. Together, we embarked on a life-changing course. We have shared much laughter and tears and I thank each one of them for their unique contribution to my experience. Cohort 11, you are a part of us, too. Thanks to you, as well. Many other people supported my Ph.D. endeavor: friends, family, and co-workers. God made this possible and those mentioned above were the sprinkles of seasoning he added along the journey to create an unbeatable combination. Muchas Gracias! And remember, ‘Excellence can be obtained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible’.”


Jana Cragg, PhD

For her dissertation, Dr. Cragg examined the relationship between the leadership style of college professors and their preferences for incorporating technology into their teaching.

Dr. Cragg was supported in her dissertation by Dr. Green as chair and Drs. Ree and Carmody-Bubb as committee members.

Dr. Cragg made the following statement for the Leadership Studies biweekly newsletter, “This very long journey to completing all components for a PhD has been a true learning experience. I will never look at the world of politics, business, or education again with the naive eyes with which I came into the program. I now actually read the research articles in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and enjoy them. Thanks Dr. Ree! I am so happy, ecstatic, relieved and in awe that I have completed this program and will add PhD to my résumé. Thanks Dr. Green for your steadfast support!”


Anthony Ojo, PhD

For his dissertation, Dr. Ojo used multiple regression analysis to examine the relationships among the constructs of transformational, transactional, laissez-faire, and power style as measured by the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MXQ-5X) and the Rahim Power Inventory (RLPI). His sample included 182 personnel from a local armed services operations center.

Dr. Ojo was supported in his dissertation by Dr. Ree as chair and Drs. Carmody-Bubb and Duncan as committee members.

Dr. Ojo made the following statement for the Leadership Studies biweekly newsletter, “At the beginning of this journey, I prayed for the love of God and guidance, balance, and meaningful relationships with the people I adore; my family, cohort, professors. God has blessed me with all of that, as well as guided and protected me. Along the way, I have been able to gain an amazing amount of knowledge and wisdom. That was not just enough, that was everything. I will be forever grateful to everyone who made this journey possible.”


Richard Herrera, PhD

For his dissertation, Dr. Herrera conducted a quantitative study using the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) instrument. Multiple regression analysis indicated significant relationships between attitudes toward diversity management and the nine GLOBE cultural preferences. Results further indicated a significant relationship between the six GLOBE leadership dimensions and attitudes toward diversity management.

The following quote from Dr. Herrera was reported in the Leadership Studies Department newsletter.

Dr. Herrera was supported in his dissertation by Dr. Duncan as chair and Drs. Ree and Cheryl Skaggs as committee members.

Dr. Herrera made the following statement for the Leadership Studies biweekly newsletter, “As I reflect on my journey, I look at the lessons learned and what got me here. I look at what I’ve accomplished and how it has impacted those around me, especially my wife. This was just as much a journey for her as it was for me, and I think we both learned a great deal. Most of all, we couldn’t have done it without each other and the help of so many loved ones. Our journey has strengthened not only our minds, but our faith in each other. I’m truly fortunate to find myself walking along, not only with those I started this journey with, but with so many others by my side.”



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